My Bank of America Rant and A Special Portrait of Suki

For some odd reason, I woke up thinking about what Bank of America did to me fifteen years ago when I lived in Florida the first time. I opened the standard checking and savings accounts, and found out in short order if I didn’t deposit at least $5 in the savings account every month by a certain date, they’d whack me a $3 fee.

A couple weeks after arriving, 9/11 happened and the entire country shut down. Planes didn’t fly, people were afraid to drive, and no one was hiring, which meant I wasn’t making money and there was nothing to put in savings.

Right on schedule, BoA whacked me $3 for not making a deposit that first month. I was pissed. Who the hell did they think they were? This was one of the most transparent “money grabs” I’d ever seen, and guess what? ALL the damn banks in Clearwater were doing it, so changing to another one made no sense.

My unemployment stretched on as Bush & Company built their Legacy of Fear, and I started freaking out, then realized being homeless in Florida had to be better than winter in MN, because hey, blizzards and temps so cold, you freeze walking to your car (it was like that “back then,” and the fact it’s mostly not like that now, only fifteen years later, should terrify you). I used to think, “If I ever decide to kill myself, I’ll just stroll on out to the woods, sit under a tree in January, and go to sleep. Easy peasy.” If you sit under a tree in Florida, one of many things might happen (being bitten by a poisonous snake, eaten by an alligator who sneaks up on you, gored by a wild bore, or attacked by a mosquito bearing some horrible disease), but you won’t freeze to death. Homeless had to be better here.

I didn’t make a deposit the second month either, but I managed to put $5 in the account the third month before screwing up again in the fourth, missing the day of deposit by one.

I’d had it. I’d keep the money under the mattress rather than keep giving it to the leeches at BoA! At the rate they were going, they’d soon have my entire savings account, the fuckers.

The day after another ludicrous $3 fee was assessed, I marched down to the local branch and asked to see the manager. I started out calmly enough, but at the end, after hearing his condescending and self-satisfied bullshit about why the fee was charged, I let him have it.

“I’m closing my accounts. I already have two parents, and I sure as hell don’t need another one telling me what to do with my money. If I don’t want to put anything in savings one month, that should be my choice, not yours.” I didn’t throw any “fucks” in there, but I wanted to, and I’m pretty sure he heard them anyway.

Fast forward to my return to Wisconsin: I didn’t even consider using a bank. I went straight to a credit union and haven’t looked back since. In the banking world, they are the fairies of goodness. They never charge me a fee for anything. In fact, I still use my CU up north; I can do everything necessary online, and if a time comes when I need to do something complex, well, there is a credit union network. Stop in at the local CU and chances are, they can help you, and they won’t charge you either.

_______

A friend of mine in California is turning into a really good artist. Today, FedEx dropped off a painting she did of Suki. I’m adding it to my “pet wall” so I can look at it first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening. It’s gorgeous! She really captured my baby, didn’t she?

Suki Portrait V Hacking 4.7.16 sm

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About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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11 Responses to My Bank of America Rant and A Special Portrait of Suki

  1. Helena Stone says:

    Do not get me (or Dermot) started about banks. We’ll never shut up. Suffice to say I couldn’t agree more with every word you said in your post.
    That portrait of Suki is fantastic. No wonder you’ve given it pride of place. I could look at it for hours on end and I’ve never met the subject in real life ❤

    • She did a terrific job on this piece, capturing Suki better than I ever expected. She’s using a special technique I don’t understand called “alcohol ink.” It sure results in something spectacular, though!

  2. Jaycee Edward says:

    I love my bank. I’ve been with them since I was 18. I talked my hubby into moving his accounts there years ago when he was having issues with his bank. Everything was fine but he got in a snit when the housing market crashed and they decided to get out of the mortgage business (understandable on their part.). They closed his home equity line of credit (which he never used anyway!!) and it made him mad, so he switched to another bank. Then another. And another. He’s had nothing but issues since. I keep telling him to come back to my bank, but he’s stubborn that way and won’t. Credit unions are fantastic for loans, too. I always do my car loans thru our Credit Union.

    I love that portrait of Suki!!!! What an awesome gift! My aunt was a whiskey painter! There’s actually a group called Whiskey Painters of America.

    • I know nothing about this art form, but it produces great results. I’ll have to do some research.

      I’m touched she thought enough of me or Suki to do this piece and send it to me. I treasure it, like I treasure the piece you sent me. If you give me permission, I’ll post a pic of it. 🙂

  3. Yvonne says:

    My old bank had this rule you had to have a certain amount in your account to avoid paying a small fee for every bill you paid. Really pissed me off.
    Wonderful portrait of Suki! (blue is my favorite color)

    • They probably had that rule too. I only remember the one, though, as it meant they helped myself to my money nearly every month. Even now, I only move money to savings occasionally and not on a damn schedule. I hate banks. They need to be put back in their place and not allowed to run roughshod over its clients.

  4. Allison says:

    I’m so so glad I never had a BoA account. Not that other banks have been better.

    Great painting of sweet Suki! Very talented person.

  5. diannegray says:

    Dear god, banks are the absolute pits! I would have let a few “fucks” out to that ratbag. I’ve used a credit union for years now – it’s the only way to go 😀

    That is a beautiful painting of Suki! xxxx

  6. Jaycee Edward says:

    My stepdaughter lost her home after her divorce. She tried to work out an adjusted loan with BoA but they continuously lost her files, made her resubmit TONS of paperwork – that cost her $70 each time to resend and shuffled her from case manager to case manager so she’d have to start all over every time. When it went into pre-foreclosure, she offered them $XXX,XXX.XX to keep it out of foreclosure, but they said it wasn’t enough. In the end, they sold it for exactly that amount. So, basically, they ruined her credit for no reason. The other day she called and said, “Guess what I just got in the mail? A pre-approved Visa card offer from BoA.” They suck.

    • They do. I know someone who always made his payments on time and had great credit, but BoA decided to fuck with him for some reason. They made his life hell for two years, constantly threatening to foreclose on a mortgage that wasn’t in arrears, so he finally sold the house and moved across the country.

      If Bernie wins, I hope he breaks up the big banks. They only exist now to steal money from those less fortunate.

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